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A Note from a Black Woman Tired of Saying RIP (insert name of black person)

A Note from a Black Woman Tired of Saying RIP (insert name of black person)

I don’t want to keep posting about Insecure without discussing the state of the black community.

I broke my social media hiatus because I wanted to protest, and social media has proven to be effective when doing so. As soon as I broke the seal, wow. I was inundated with images and messages and more specifically, the black out which was a little confusing initially. I also saw people taking advantage of the moment and flexing and centering themselves in the narrative. It’s pretty gross.

While a few things frustrated me, which we’ll get to shortly, I want to add a disclaimer: I realize and respect that everyone’s activism is different. We all have our own ideas and beliefs as to how we should get to the promised land and how black people will receive redemption and I respect that. I’m not Umie.

Read a Book

I encourage you to read, read, read. Offline. Start with The New Jim Crow, Just Mercy, Stony the Road and Between the World and Me. Now is more an important time than ever to read about all things black. Read bell hooks, James Baldwin and Angela Davis. Immerse yourself in the beautiful ocean of black authors. I think every black woman should read The Sistas are Alright and At the Dark End of the Street. Have you ever heard of black people migrating from the south because of Jim Crow? Check out The Warmth of Other Suns. Morgan Jenkins and Roxane Gay have great essay collections. Get political with Valerie Jarrett, Al Sharpton (The Rejected Stone) and Barack Obama. Even check out the Atlantic for some of their in-depth reporting and essays. If you want to go the fiction route, Homegoing and If Beale Street Could Talk are excellent. Not only is reading wonderful, it’s the best way to educate yourself. Stop relying on the media to teach you. Social media was created to keep you scrolling for hours and the news media wants to keep us divided and sensationalizes everything. Read a book. Form your own opinion. Stop waiting for people to tell you what to think. They aren’t objective. It’s about what will reel viewers in and making money. Clearly, no one cares about the state of the black community like they claim as we can tell by their limited actions. I have tons of books in my vault and on my list so please, please, please hit me up if you need more suggestions. Honestly, I’m to the point where I’m not really engaging with anyone who isn’t educating themselves. I’m just not interested in having baseless discussions rooted in Twitter threads and YouTube videos. Don’t get me wrong: I have learned A LOT from a good thread but it also lead me to… a book. At the end of the day, people share based on their own lenses and beliefs. We need more than one source to really engage and form an opinion.

LOG OFF SOCIAL MEDIA!

Figure out what your activism is and do that. Being engaged all the time is not healthy. I started paying attention to my breathing and my heart rate when I log on and I can feel when I’m getting too excited or overwhelmed. I also noticed that I go through so many varying feelings in such a short span of time. Now, imagine doing that all day, every day. Push back. I know people normally suggest a few hours or a day or so. I’m here to advocate for a week minimum. Delete all the apps. When you do, pay attention to those urges to log on. What are you thinking and feeling in that moment? What is it you are really looking for? Validation? Attention? Connection? Honor that feeling with something that brings you true joy, not temporary distractions.

I’m ranting from this point forward so read at your own discretion.

Explain This

I don’t care that you have a handful of white friends just like I don’t care that you’re their only black friend. Stop placing white people in the center of our narrative. They aren’t all bad. We know that but we’re literally reeling over the latest deaths being added to a long list of unjust murders and you have the audacity and gall to tell me about your white friend who isn’t bad. People love to talk about how broken homes come from slavery and all this other stuff, but nothing screams a slave mentality the way y’all caping for them makes no sense and it really doesn’t matter. That’s not bringing any type of healing or reconciliation. It’s just making your friend feel good. Is that your goal right now? It shouldn’t be. Go read one of those books I listed.

Celebrities

I will never understand or agree with not holding celebrities accountable for what they do and say or lack thereof. Yes, they are people but if we’re being honest, a lot of folks won’t even go to church because of church hurt from years ago, because someone did something to them or someone they know. That alone made you abandon the entire institution. But when a celebs says or does something you know is wrong and you don’t agree with it, they get grace. They get the benefit of the doubt. But you won’t try a new church because all pastors are the same? I don’t get it.

At the end of the day, we’re the ones who fuel their careers. It’s always about accountability. Always has been. It’s not about idolizing or anything remotely close to it. If we are supposed to acknowledge and respect their humanity then I need them to do the same for mine. You following them and engaging with them in any way matters. I hate cancel culture because it’s unfair, specifically to black women. (Chrisette and Kerri holler if you hear me.) But all of this a clear example of where people really stand. Y’all got Trina out of there but I guarantee Virgil will not suffer. If you know anything about politics, money talks. That’s why that man is in the white house now. You can talk about voting all day long but what’s keeping him there is money. Why else get mad when a large corporation donates to his campaign? It infuriates me when celebs don’t put money behind their talk. This is why social media is so trash. We see these images and all the flexing and that’s not real life. Real life is at the polls and in your purse and wallet. Why do you think fundraising is so important to political campaigns? But we don’t even have time to get into all of that right now because I really want to talk about TI and Killer Mike. Let’s keep going.

Police

Dismantle the police. Throw away the whole institution. End mass incarceration. Fixing it is simply putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. People don’t become police officers because they want to institute change. They want to legally bully, harass, terrorize and murder people. Trying to be the good officer doesn’t work when the whole organization was created with the intent to hunt, incarcerate and kill black people. Period. Why keep it around? They’re protection is selective. I’ve had some bad stuff happen to me and I didn’t call the cops. I know many other black people share the same sentiments. Leave them wherever they are. They literally only make situations worse. And sure, we can have them spend months in diversity and bias training but how do you reprogram the mind of someone who was taught hate from birth? How do you overthrow an entire system of people who believe black people are always guilty before they know anything about them? They don’t look at us and see humans. They see targets. I don’t have a pleasant interaction with a cop to share with you. I can tell you how every time I drive my mom’s Mercedes or BMW, I get followed. I can tell you how a cop threatened me at a pool party. We could even talk about how I’m 4’ 11” and weighed 120 pounds yet he singled me out, out of everyone at the party. And you could probably rebuttal and one up me. Throw the whole system away. It’s a long ways off but it’s the best thing for everyone.

Also, if you think the world will go crazy without policing or feel like we need it, you on the wrong blog, sweetheart.

This is long. I’m not even doing a closing paragraph. I’ll do more organized posts later. I just had some stuff to say. See you guys Sunday for Insecure.

1 Comment

  1. Jess
    June 4, 2020 / 1:08 pm

    Thanks for the book suggestions.

Let me know what you think :)

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